Where to buy chocolate in Philly
There's lots of delectable chocolate in Philly, the suburbs, and New Jersey, including old-school and modern, single-origin chocolate bars, intricate buttercreams, hand-painted truffles, and more.
Philadelphia has a long, sweet history with the chocolate industry. It started with the likes of Milton Hershey, who established his first candy store on Spring Garden Street in 1876, and continued with big names such as Asher’s and Whitman’s. But go beyond the big-name brands and you’ll find many talented chocolatiers putting out single-origin chocolate bars, intricate buttercreams, and hand-rolled truffles. Here are 10 shops — both decades-old candy stores and bean-to-bar-minded newcomers — for buying locally made chocolates.
At this Society Hill confectionery, pastry chef Aurora Wold crafts exceptionally stunning chocolates. Her specialty is hand-painting dark-chocolate-encased bonbons, a process that can take days. Layers of flavors hide inside these one-bite desserts, including liquid salted caramel; chocolate, tahini and shortbread; and peanut butter and praline. Also popular are her chocolate barks, available with toppings like raspberry pistachio, in addition to a caramel- and peanut butter-filled chocolate bar decorated to look like Gritty. Next-day pickup is available daily at the 5th Street shop and nationwide shipping is available for those who aren’t close by.
This 158-year-old storefront got a makeover in 2011, when it was reopened by the Willy Wonka-esque Berley brothers, owners of the nearby Franklin Fountain. The Old City outfit takes a bean-to-bar approach, sourcing cacao from around the world, then processing it in house. The products include creamy bonbons, peanut butter cups, buttercreams, coffee and spiced chai caramels, and chocolate bars with up to 90 percent cacao, as well as a wide selection of other candies. Be sure to try a cup of their thick, velvety drinking cocoa, which can be purchased at the shop’s walk-up window. Currently, Shane’s offers in-store ordering, in addition to online pre-order pickup. Local delivery is available through Grubhub and on the Franklin Fountain website. Nationwide shipping can be ordered through the Shane Confectionery website.
Many of the chocolates in this 50-plus-year-old, family-owned store are made in the former Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews factory, where co-owner Tony Walter Sr. worked for a time. But don’t expect the sweets here to resemble those iconic, molasses-y candy bars. In addition to caramels and handmade marshmallows covered in milk and dark chocolate, the Washington Square shop offers the classics, like solid chocolate hearts, sea salt caramels, buttercreams, and toffee. Lore’s is open for walk-in shoppers, offers delivery via Mercato and ships nationwide. Those looking for nearby delivery from the shop can call ahead for bike courier availability as well.
In normal times, John & Kira’s is a staple at many local farmers’ markets — currently, it mainly offers online sales of its delectable treats. The local chocolatier is known for its red- and black-painted dark chocolate ganache “ladybugs” and bright yellow honey-caramel “honeybees.” Other best sellers include chocolate-dipped figs filled with whiskey ganache and tart cherries coated in dark chocolate with a hint of brandy. While it’s an online-only operation for now, the shop hopes to be back at farmers’ markets when the weather warms. And in the meantime, Di Bruno Bros., the Pennsylvania General Store in Reading Terminal and Weavers Way Co-op sell a selection of the chocolates. Orders placed online arrive within one to five days.
Anthony Anastasio opened Anthony’s Italian Coffee House in 1995 in an Italian Market storefront that had been in his family for generations. Today, the combined coffee and chocolate house is known for its chocolate-covered figs, chocolate-caramel apples, tiramisu and dark chocolate truffles, and chocolate-dipped biscotti. Walk-in shopping is available, in addition to in-store pickup. For local delivery, order through Mercato or place an order for nationwide shipping through the shop’s website.
Tucked inside the curated jewelry and gift shop Verde is Marcie Blaine Artisanal Chocolates, a confectionery run by Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran, a duo known for their restaurants Barbuzzo, Little Nonna’s, Bud and Marilyn’s and more. Here, Chef Turney creates all chocolates in a studio kitchen in the back of the 13th Street shop. And while they sell classics like truffles and caramels, Marcie Blaine’s Philly series of chocolates, each printed with a local landmark or something quintessentially Philly, are the most popular. Curbside pickup orders can be placed online, and shipping is available online as well. The shop is currently open for walk-ins, too.
Joseph and Antonie Amrani own this sunny Ardmore cafe and shop. French-born and Georges Perrier-trained, the brothers turn out delicious macarons and croque monsieurs, but you won’t want to leave here without chocolate. Find truffles filled with ganache, hazelnut praline, and Delice’s own take on Ferrero Rocher, featuring a layered interior of Italian coconut wafers, rice crispy, caramel, and dark chocolate. The chocolate shop is open for walk-in guests and curbside pickup. For curbside pickup, call ahead to place your order.
Christopher Curtin spent more than a dozen years studying pastry and confectionery in Belgium, Switzerland, France, Germany, and Japan. He opened his small shop in West Chester in 2005 and has garnered national recognition in the years since. Bars come spiced with flavors like coffee and cardamom, green tea and roasted rice, and porcini and thyme; other treats, such as Peruvian truffles rolled in Venezuelan cocoa powder, are available, too. Look for Éclat products at retailers like Di Bruno Bros.
The Lerro family has been making chocolate since 1916. In the 1950s, John Lerro started the candy shop’s wholesale business, making them known for their chocolate-covered pretzels and chocolatey Easter eggs. Other popular items include chocolate-covered nuts and chocolate peanut squares complete with molasses. Candy orders can be placed online for nationwide shipping from the Darby-based candy seller.
Three generations of Giambris have helmed this chocolate business, founded in South Philadelphia in 1942. Chocolate-covered pretzels are their biggest seller, but the family doesn’t shy away from dipping more unusual things — such as potato chips and Oreos — in dark and milk chocolate. Classics like nonpareils, buttercreams, and caramels sell year-round, while other treats are more seasonal, including chocolate eggs and hand-pulled lemon sticks (staples of the Devon Horse Show). The shop often has extended hours around holidays, including Valentine’s Day.
This family company started crafting chocolates more than 70 years ago in France, not far from Paris; it opened the New Jersey outpost in 2012. Find bars studded with roasted pralines and figs, truffles with dark chocolate ganache, chocolates topped with cocoa nibs, nougatine, and hazelnut paste, dairy- and gluten-free brownies, and more. Guided tours, chocolate-making classes and tastings are offered at the chocolate shop, or you can sign up for Zoom tours paired with a chocolate tasting or purchase at-home truffle-making and chocolate bar-making kits complete with access to a step-by-step video.
This old-school South Jersey candy store has been in business for more than 100 years, staying in the same family for four generations. They make the candy on the second floor of the Merchantville sweet shop and offer walk-in shopping and curbside pickup. Go-to candies include nonpareils, chocolate-covered pretzels, cashew crabs and caramels.
Steven White contributed to this article.